The American flag is displayed again on a firetruck in Arlington, but controversy surrounding the symbol of patriotism remains in the New York town.
Officials decided in a meeting Thursday that one of the Arlington Fire District’s trucks could display the American flag, following Monday orders from the Board of Fire Commissioners that the stars and stripes be removed. That directive sparked local and national outcry, prompting reconsideration of the decision originally made because flags were a "liability during normal operations for our people and other motorists.”
Some also said displaying the flag on firetrucks violated U.S. flag code, which prohibits a flag from being “draped over the hood, top, sides, or back of a vehicle or of a railroad train or a boat.”
Thursday’s agreement, reached in a two-and-a-half hour meeting, said the fire department could “install a flag on an engine and continue to work together to develop a standard and protocol.”
“The Arlington Fire District recognizes and values the importance and symbolism of the American flag,” the district said in a Facebook post.
But some were not happy with this resolution, arguing that all fire engines should have the right to display the flag.
The area’s volunteer fire department also protested, because restoring one flag did not allow them to put the patriotic symbol on its trucks. Arlington’s Croft Corners Fire Company plans to host a “rally for the flag” on Saturday.
“It is great that the Arlington Fire District chairman of the board and the local and Chief have worked out something but at this point it is one flag on one engine which means the engine and ladder out of Croft are still not allowed to fly the flag,” Croft Corners said in a Facebook post. “Also [at] the meeting that was held to come to this agreement today no volunteer representation was allowed to [attend].”